It’s the same pattern each time that I have come to dread. It always happens after we haven’t seen each other for about ten days. We can go a week and come back together and have a smooth transition. But ten days to two weeks is two long. Something shifts and then the pattern unfolds.
I can hear it in her voice. She is distant. There are no terms of endearment like we throw about easily when we are connected. Everything is blocked, I feel awkward. Her tone is sharp, and her reactions quick. When I ask her questions about how her day went, even chit-chat, she responds with minimal information. When it began happening over a year ago when we started dating, I responded by attempting to charm her out of what I thought was just a bad mood. It didn’t work. I would sense her distance and ask about it, and she would lead me around in circles with her answers. She was “fine,” or she didn’t want to talk about it. The difference in how she responds to me when we are connected vs. how she responds to me when she is distant is like night and day. When we are connected she is warm, open, responsive. When she is distant it’s like we are strangers or friends who don’t know each other well. There is no ease to our connection.
But if I comment on it, as I am prone to do, she will shut me down. She will infer that I am over reacting, or that I am being pushy, wanting something she isn’t willing to give at the moment. After it happened a few times in the beginning I began to see the pattern. Finally she told me enough about it so that I could understand what made her change so much. She would get overwhelmed with missing me, she would say, and it caused her to shut down. But its more than that, and she has vaguely admitted on a few occasions what I know is true. She is shutting me out.
Early on when it first started happening, she apologized for “being a dick”. I thought that was a perfect description. And so a few times after when I would sense she was going there, I would say, “Oh, I see you’re being a dick”. She didn’t seem to appreciate that. I just wanted to acknowledge it was happening, give it a name. Her “dickness”.
As time went on I discovered that she had the potential to be a very big dick. It was always in response to the same set of circumstances. We had been apart for two long. Each time it happened, I would try to talk her out of it, charm her out of it, flirt her out of it, and nothing would happen. Her dickness was quite persistent. It used to only happen when we were apart. But then it started bleeding into our time together. As the time for us to be together would approach, she would start being a dick. I would get hurt and then pissed about how she was acting. So then I would shut her out. By the time we actually were together, we were in a full on fight. Our weekend together would begin, and it would take at least 24 hours for her to put her dick down.
I said to her once, during the middle of one of these periods where we were fighting, if it had occurred to her that if we could just fuck as soon as we saw each other, we would probably do better. Not being able to be together produces tension that quickly dissipates when we fuck like the true animals that we are. But she couldn’t even put down her dick long enough to do that.
And so it started this week, two days ago. Its been almost two weeks since we have seen each other. We had been doing great at remaining connected over the phone. Then “Bam”, out of nowhere, she starts being a dick. She shuts down. She’s “fine”. I try not to react. I try to stay open and remain loving. I produce some chit-chat. I get frustrated and tell her how hard it is for me when she acts like this. She responds by saying, “Oh, now I’m the bad guy,” which infuriates me further. I tell her I didn’t say that, but it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t hear a word I’ve said. She’s too busy closing herself off. If I comment on that aspect of it, she’ll find a way to deny it, turn it around into something I’m just over reacting to. I can tell her it hurts me, she’ll say, “I’m sorry”. It doesn’t help. I know that she believes I should not react to her reacting. She thinks I’m over personalizing. I don’t think she has any idea what it feels like to suddenly feel as if you have been emotionally cut off. Of course if I said that she would say, “That’s not what I’m doing”.
So today I’m pissed about it. So I shut her out. She probably doesn’t know this. She’s just over there 80 miles away doing her thing, being all forlorn or whatever. Meanwhile, I had a shitty day yesterday and an even worse one today. I went back to work last week after being on medical leave and I’ve been trying really hard not to let my job suck the life out of me. I’ve been trying to pick and choose where I put my energy. But then the people come in with their stories, and they infiltrate me, and become mine. The elderly man sobbing about being sexually abused as a child. The elderly woman who is breaking under the stress of trying to care for her bed ridden mother. The depressed, the irritable, the detritus of everyone’s lives, seeping into me. It’s like invisible quicksand. I don’t know it’s there until I’m drowning in it and I can’t get out. And the anniversary of my father’s death is this weekend. And I miss my love, so much, all the time, because when we are together and connected, we really connect. And I’m lost without her. So when she starts being a dick I feel abandoned. And I can’t tell her about it because she’ll tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way. She will minimize the effect her dickness has on me.
I got so worked up about it last night that I couldn’t sleep. For most of the night, just tossing and turning. I was so exhausted all day, and missing her but refusing to txt or call her because I’m shutting her out because I’m hurt. And we are supposed to be together this weekend and I want to say, “Forget it, because I know where this is going to go. I’m hurt and pissed, and reacting, and you will be too, and its going to be one of those rough re-entry’s, and I don’t have it in me to go through that right now, so I’d rather not see you at all”.
On the way home from work I got a speeding ticket. I silently cried all the way home, snot running down my face. My son was in the back seat and I didn’t want to answer any questions about why I was crying. I was crying because I miss her. And I’m super tired, and I didn’t need a fucking ticket to top it off. And I was crying because I couldn’t call her and tell her about it because I couldn’t risk that she would be distant, or that the conversation would go like it did yesterday.
And we will come together at some point, I know we will because we always do. Our connection is strong and sinewy. I love her more than I’ve ever loved anyone.